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Texas Department of Insurance
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Electrical safety tips

There are electrical hazards in workplaces from offices to construction sites. Employers can help prevent injuries, deaths, and damage by training workers to recognize and avoid potential electrical dangers. These tips can help:

Electrical worker

1 Avoid contact with power lines.

Overhead and buried powerlines are not insulated. They carry high voltage and if equipment contacts the lines they can electrocute or burn workers. Stay at least 10 feet from overhead lines, de-energize or guard lines when working near them, ask local utility providers where lines are buried, and post warning signs nearby. Use non-conductive wood or fiberglass ladders near power lines.

2 Ground electrical equipment.

Equipment wear and tear can cause dangers, such as exposed wires. Protect against these by using ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs); two-pronged, double-insulated equipment marked as such; or equipment with a third plug prong that sends electricity from a malfunctioning tool to the ground instead of the body. Visually inspect equipment and tools before using. Place “Do Not Use” labels on defective equipment and remove them from service until they are fixed or replaced.

3 Use care with power tools.

Inspect electrical tools regularly and test them before each use. If there is smoke, sparks, or a slight shock, tag and remove the tools from service. Disconnect power tools when changing blades or bits, and store tools in dry areas. Do not carry tools by the cord, yank the cord to unplug it, or put a cord where it may cause a tripping hazard. Use tools in well-lit areas.

4 Wear protective clothing.

Electricity and water do not mix, but neither do electricity and oil, solvents, and other liquids. Even sweaty hands on a drill can put workers at risk of electrical shock. Wear safety gloves and proper footwear when using electric tools. When working in damp areas, wear rubber gloves, rubber-soled boots or shoes, and rubber floor mats.

5 Keep up with housekeeping.

Sparks from electrical tools can ignite fumes. Store gases, chemicals, and other flammable liquids away from where tools are used. Keep walkways and other paths clean and clear so workers can reach the power shutoff in an emergency. 

For more information, download any of DWC’s free electrical safety publications or stream our free online workplace safety videos. DWC OSHA-authorized safety training specialists are also available at or 1-800-252-7031, option 2.


For more information, contact:

Last updated: 3/13/2024